Crime | Trending

Prosecutors: Homeless Man And Couple Made Up Their Viral Story For Cash

Kate McClure - GoFundMe

The twists and turns in the saga of homeless man Johnny Bobbitt have already made headlines around the world.

Now, in the most surprising development yet, Philadelphia prosecutors say his entire viral story was fabricated - and that Bobbitt was in on the scam from the beginning.

The story began last year, when Bobbitt supposedly gave his last $20 to a Philadelphia woman and inspired a feel-good social media story.

Homeless man GoFundMe
McClure claimed she wanted to pay back Bobbitt for his generosity. Prosecutors say they were both involved in a scam.Kate McClure - GoFundMe

Kate McClure shared a photo with Bobbitt in 2017, claiming the homeless man and Marine veteran had given her gas money out of his own pocket.

"Johnny did not ask me for a dollar, and I couldn't repay him at that moment because I didn't have any cash, but I have been stopping by his spot for the past few weeks," McClure wrote on a GoFundMe page titled "Paying it Forward."

Along with the heartfelt story, McClure shared a link to the crowdfunding website, and quickly collected more than $400,000 in donations meant to reward Bobbitt and help him get back on his feet.

GoFundMe homeless man
The trio allegedly conspired to scam money from generous donors with a heartwarming story.Kate McClure - GoFundMe

But months later, accusations began to surface that McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, were pocketing the money meant for Bobbitt.

Bobbitt complained that the couple were spending the money on luxury cars and other expensive big ticket purchases. Meanwhile, the pair insisted they were withholding money from Bobbitt out of concern he would spend it on drugs.

In August, Bobbitt's attorneys filed a lawsuit to try and get back the remaining money from McClure and D’Amico.

In September, police raided the couple’s home as part of an investigation into the accusations, but at the time neither D’Amico or McClure were charged with a crime.

Now, D’Amico, McClure, and Bobbitt are all expected to face criminal conspiracy and theft by deception charges, as prosecutors allege that their viral story was part of a get-rich-quick scheme.

GoFundMe homeless man
The fundraiser collected more than $400,000. Last month, the crowdfunding website promised to help Bobbitt obtain the money.GoFundMe

In a complaint obtained by NBC Philadelphia, they say the original viral story was "fictitious," and the couple prevented their donors from learning the truth "by failing to correct their story."

The couple have reportedly turned themselves in to authorities, while Bobbitt remains at large.

Last month, GoFundMe promised that Bobbitt would be provided with the rest of the money, but it’s still unclear who has the money today.

[H/T: NBC News]

Were you surprised by this news? Hopefully we'll learn the truth about this case soon...

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories. CONTACT: zachary@shared.com